Posted on Saturday, 23/Jan/2010 Posted by admin

Diurnal, the physiological hormone replacement company, today announced that it has successfully completed a £770K ($USD 1.23M; Euro 850K)  funding round that will enable its lead product, Chronocort®, to complete its Phase I trials  and initiate its Phase 2 trials.

Based in Cardiff, Diurnal is developing a novel approach to drug delivery which will help patients suffering from reduced cortisol and testosterone levels. Chronocort® is a delayed and sustained release therapy that delivers hydrocortisone in a manner that mimics the body's normal circadian rhythm (the body's natural 24 hour hormone cycle).  This therapeutic approach has the potential to help patients with deficiencies in steroid hormones and associated conditions by regulating metabolism, growth development and puberty, tissue function and in determining mood. Each of these deficiencies requires life-long treatment and Diurnal's novel approach to drug delivery has the potential to drastically improve patients' lives.

The funding round includes existing investors Fusion IP PLC and Finance Wales and new investors Sarum Partners LLP, on behalf of its oncology focused Fund.  Diurnal will have a post money valuation of £2.8million ($USD 4.5M; Euro 3.1M)

Chronocort® has already received two related Orphan Drug designations from the European Medicines Agency, which affords ten years of market exclusivity after the grant of marketing authorisation in Europe.

Martin Whitaker, General Manager at Diurnal, stated:

"Our lead compound Chronocort® is focused on delivering a delayed and sustained release hydrocortisone therapy that will benefit patients suffering from Adrenal Insufficiency and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.  Following today's fundraising, Chronocort® is poised to complete it Phase I clinical trials early next year and progress development rapidly into patient trials."

Jonny Laughton, Sarum Partners LLP said:  "Sarum likes this Company because of the approach  which enables the Company to focus on optimising therapeutic performance principally by altering the drug delivery modality and treatment regimes and so enables Diurnal to significantly de-risk the development programme. We view the Diurnal opportunity as a very exciting orphan drug story addressing a large unmet need which offers exposure to Phase II clinical trial data within a very short time."

For further information please contact:

Martin Whitaker, PhD (General Manager)
+44 (0) 871 716 8848